Autumn has begun and the animals are excited about all the pumpkin treats they are getting. And, we are excited to share this newsletter with you, our valued members and subscribers.
What you’ll read about here is possible because you’re part of the herd. So a big rowdy thanks to you!
Drought Campaign Update
We raised $28,180 thanks to all of you who heeded the call. The funds are being used to replenish our hay supply that was decimated as the pastures that normally feed our bovines were scorched by an unprecedented drought. We are deeply grateful for the support we’ve received to get us through the worst of a drought that still continues to challenge us.
New Animal Residents In 2022
We welcomed 13 animals to the sanctuary so far this year, each with their own unique personality and life story. Rowdy Girl animals are treated as individuals and shine as ambassadors for the vast number of those less fortunate caught in our food system.
Photo: Laverne & Shirley
We have received 64 calls and 55 applications to surrender animals this year. Renee personally responds to every single one by listening to their story, offering education on veganism (most are not vegan), encouraging them to keep the animal and finally, if their situation is untenable, work with them on either bringing the animal to RGS or to another sanctuary.
One of our new residents is Brownie the Jersey cow. He was surrendered by loving humans whose circumstances made it necessary to say goodbye to him. Brownie’s story is emblematic of a typical day in the life of a dairy, even a “family-owned” dairy like the one he came from. Alive for about six hours, still dripping with afterbirth the little male cow was too weak to endure the trip to the veal farmer. He was fortunate enough to be adopted out.
Brownie, who thinks he is a dog, loves to greet his human family at the back porch every morning for brushing and ball throwing.
Other rescues include Gilbert (above), a sheep who was part of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program, and was surrendered by the Murray Family. While raising him, the family’s compassion won over FFA’s final sequence, the sale barn, and Gilbert caught a break.
Lotus (potbelly pig) who is ornery and territorial but will snuggle between your legs if you stand near her.
Danny and Doogie (goats) – Doogie has become our Rowdy Girl mascot, greeting all our guests with a smile. You can hear his RGS bell ringing throughout the courtyards.
Little Bit and Savannah (cow and calf) – Little Bit is sweet-natured but very protective of Savannah who is shy but becoming increasingly curious.
Sofie (cow) – our gentle giant, and our oldest cow, gives the impression that she is full of wisdom. She has found a friend in Brownie and is like a grandmother figure.
Pip and Obi (rabbits) – the summer heat has kept them laid up in the shade most days, but early in the morning they are energetic and can be seen hopping and kicking around in the pen
Laverne and Shirley (hens) – our inseparable hens who love treats will come running up for a snack when they hear a single step.
Blanchito (rooster) – very cocky and proud, he loves to strut his stuff all around the farmhouse in front of all our hens. He is very sweet though when held.
Education & Legislation
Our Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) supports cattle ranchers and animal farmers wanting out of animal agribusiness. RAP is an idea whose time has come and you are helping us change the world with it.
The RAP Summit in July was a resounding success with 195 registrants from nine countries including Canada, China, Japan and Australia. Attendees included ranchers who are looking to transition.
Impossible Foods was our lead sponsor and is mission-aligned with our work to transition farms to reduce carbon emissions, improve the land, empower farmers and give people affordable plant-based alternatives.
Agriculture Fairness Alliance
On the legislative front, Renee remains active on the 501(c)4 Agriculture Fairness Alliance board where she is advocating for Farm Bill 2023 recommendations that will help farmers diversify into growing fiber-rich food crops.
Himalayan Vegan Conference
Thanks to the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, Renee accepted the invitation to speak at the Himalayan Vegan Conference in September where she shared the stage with thought leaders and influential figures in the animal rights movement.
Why was the conference a big deal for Renee to attend?
Renee had many constructive conversations with powerhouses like Derek Sarno, co-founder of Wicked Healthy and Good Catch (pictured here); Seth Tibbott, Founder and CEO of Tofurky; Ken Spector, Principal of Happy Cow, the world’s largest vegan/vegetarian restaurant guide app; and Dr. Susianto Tseng who spearheaded the vegan movement in Indonesia.
Based on the feedback at the conference, RGS and RAP have much momentum and that our mission is being felt and embraced around the world.
Given what Renee heard from other speakers, is the world changing for farmed animals, or do we have a long fight ahead?
The world is changing for farmed animals because so many activists and celebrities are becoming major influencers on social media, but we do have a long fight ahead because we are up against a system of normalized violence that has been perpetuated for 10,000 years.
What new ideas will be implemented in Rowdy Girl Sanctuary’s programming as a result?
Renee connected with a young man named Tim Reijsoo from the Netherlands who is a Graduate Student of the University of Amsterdam. He is involved politically in the Netherlands and is becoming a strong voice for climate action. He’s confronting cattle ranchers who are up in arms because the Dutch government is proposing a radical cut in livestock due to extreme nitrogen emissions. An estimated 11,200 farms will have to close and another 17,600 farmers will have to significantly reduce livestock. Tim and Renee will be working to bring RAP to the Netherlands.
It’s “Time to Thrive” This Giving Season
We wanted to give you a sneak preview of our upcoming year-end Time To Thrive Campaign to raise $100,000 for Phase I of the Medical Treatment Facility. Farm animals become stressed when separated from the herd or being loaded onto a trailer for a lengthy transport to receive medical treatment when sick or injured. The campaign will fund Phase I – a 72 by 100 foot main barnhouse. The barnhouse will be used for the large animals to reside in during inclement weather and when ill or recovering from trauma.
Stay tuned and watch your email for updates!
RGS has been featured this year in:
Plan Your Trip to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary Today!
We love to show off the sanctuary and allow our guests to experience the beautiful energy created by our animal residents living their lives peacefully. Book your tour here.
In Memoriam of Those We Had to Say Goodbye to This Year:
We will miss these beloved residents and take heart in knowing that they lived wonderful lives at the sanctuary thanks to all of you.
Chickens Adeline, Brunhilda, Divinity, Baldwin, Kiwi and Heavenly
Joaquin the rooster —Roo the horse — Danny the goat
In Other News
Renee will be speaking at the Animal & Vegan Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC this year.
The AVA Summit aims to accelerate progress and create systemic change for animals by empowering advocates and organizations to increase their impact.
The Rowdy Girl Documentary
The long-awaited documentary to tell the story of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary is becoming a reality.
The documentary is currently in the late stages of post-production and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2022. The finished film will be submitted to festivals around the world and we are hoping for a strong premiere in early 2023, continuing to screen at venues throughout the year.
Updates and announcements will be available on Instagram: @rowdygirlfilm
Director and Producer is Jason Goldman of Wild Growth Media
Executive Producer: Moby